Holding the Line in Parenting: Help for the Weary Multitudes

side of match box with warning 'fire kills children'

There are days when the demands requests that the children make seem endless. Just now, TechnoBoy entertained me with a doozy. He wants to mix dish soap and water together, then churn up a lot of bubbles. From there, he will somehow use a can of hairspray to either fill the bubbles with the spray or possibly coat the bubbles. (He lost me for a moment there.)

The next step involves scooping up the bubbles in his bare hands, and then lighting them on fire. Excuse me while I sigh deeply and shake my head for a moment.

When I denied the request, I then had to justify said denial. Pretty much the whole “fire” thing was what clinched it for me. I wimped out a bit and told him that he could ask his father tonight after soccer. I’m pretty sure Hubby will say “nooooooooooooo” and that will end it.

This is one of many such questions that come my way daily. Honestly, some days I think my brain will explode if I have to come up with one more creative way to say “are you kidding?????!” nicely. Boys! They never stop thinking of a new mountain to climb.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it that they’re busy and inventing. A busy boy is a wonderful thing. I gripe a little about the messes they make, but the fact that their minds are working and hands are occupied is just fine with me. It’s the constant pushing of the line that gets wearying. I wonder if that’s true for girls as well.

However. It is my job to hold the line, to be the wise one, and to say “no” or “are you kidding????!??” 437 times a day. This whole parenting thing will pay off in the long run; if nothing else they’ll grow up to get married and have children of their own, at which point I can laugh when they face these same battles. Heh. A friend of mine reports that her mother frequently has to put down the phone to finish laughing because she can’t speak any further.

I want to be that mother.

So, if you too are getting worn down with requests and demands…if you too are sick to death of holding the line, hang in there. Someday there will be grandchildren and you can get a little of your own back.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who get tired of constantly saying no.

Photo provided courtesy of Zolivier via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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